- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
A new Gallup poll shows that President Barack Obama and his once presidential rival and now outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are the most admired man and woman of 2012.
But this was by no means a first for Clinton. It was her 17th year to take the top spot.
The USA Today/Gallup poll conducted between Dec. 19-22 is somewhat unique in that it asks respondents an open-ended question that allows them to choose anyone as opposed to most polls that ask a specific question and offer a list of options for the respondent to select from.
"What man (or woman) living in any part of the world do you admire most?"
In the male category, Barack Obama topped the list with 30 percent, followed by Nelson Mandela with 3 percent.
Four others received 2 percent. They are: former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the Rev. Billy Graham, former President George W. Bush, and Pope Benedict XVI.
Rounding out the bottom five at 1 percent from those surveyed are: former President Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, former President George H.W. Bush, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
As for the most admired woman, 21 percent of those responding chose Hillary Clinton, followed by First Lady Michelle Obama with 5 percent, talk show host Oprah Winfrey with 4 four percent, and former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice with 3 percent.
Rounding out the list at 2 percent are former Alaska Gov. and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Malala Yousafzai, Queen Elizabeth II, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Aung San Suu Kyi and Kate Middleton both received 1 percent.
No leader from the business world made the 2012 top 10 list. Included in last year's group were Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
The 2012 poll was conducted with a random sample of 1,038 adults aged 18 and older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error is +/- 4 percent.
This year's top finish by President Obama is the fifth time he has claimed that honor since the first poll was taken in 1946. Interestingly, all of the other men who have come in at the top of the list are all former presidents.
Dwight Eisenhower has come in first on 12 occasions with Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton coming in first eight times each.
According to Gallup, it is not uncommon for presidents to be first or place high in the poll.
"Sitting presidents, with their extremely high visibility and essentially continuous presence in ongoing news coverage, have won the Most Admired Man honor 56 times out of the 66 years in which Gallup has asked the question -- including each of the past 32 years in a row," said Gallup.
And although he has never seen first place, Billy Graham has been named as one of the world's most admired men a total of 56 times. Ronald Reagan made the list a total of 31 times and topped the list every year in which he was president.